May 17, 2017, Ha Noi, Viet Nam – This morning, the Second APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting began the first of its two working days. Attending the Meeting were about 200 delegates including Senior Officials of 21 member economies, representatives from APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), the ASEAN Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC)…
In the opening remarks, the APEC 2017 SOM Chair, Ambassador Bui Thanh Son affirmed that “Since SOM 1 meeting in Nha Trang, members have come a long way in implementing APEC action plans that in turn contribute to the four priorities of APEC 2017. During the past 9 days, nearly 50 activities of committees and working groups were held, where APEC member economies reviewed the results and proposed new initiatives for cooperation. In that context, SOM 2 plays an important role in summarizing, preparing contents, reporting to MRT taking place in the coming days.”
At the meeting, as Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Viet Nam reported the results of the ABAC Meeting in Seoul, Korea, from 26 – 29 April 2017, where members expressed their support for the continuing promotion of open trade and investment.
The meeting also listened to the reports of the three APEC Committees, namely: the Economic Committee (EC), Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) and SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH).
Senior Officials were briefed on the progress in developping APEC frameworks and action plans regarding cross-border e-commerce facilitation; micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); food security and sustainable agriculture; and rural – urban development. They were also updated on the development of the 2017 APEC Economic Policy Report on Structural Reform and Human Capital Development.
Candid discussions on recent developments of FTAs/RTAs in the region and the implementation of Lima Declaration on FTAAP, on how APEC can support the multilateral trading system (MTS) and contribute to the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference as well as other trade and investment issues, such as regulatory cooperation, supply chain connectivity and global value chains cooperation, women’s economic empowerment… also took place at the Meeting. At the same time, members reviewed the progress of the implementation of the IAPs under the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR).
Senior Officials also took note of the APEC Action Agenda on Promoting Economic, Financial and Social Inclusion in the APEC Region, proposed by Viet Nam. Ensuring that all groups of people contribute to, and equally share the benefits of growth and economic integration is currently a major concern of APEC member economies. Therefore, this initiative received a strong support from members.
As the host economy, Viet Nam provided an update to delegates on the preparations for the upcoming APEC Ministerial-level meetings, including the High-level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism (Ha Long, 6/2017), High-level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture responding to Climate Change (Can Tho, 8/2017), and the High-level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy (Hue, 9/2017).
* In the morning, the PSU has launched the APEC Regional Trends Analysis on the theme “Globalization: The Good, The Bad, and the Role of Policy”.